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Business Analysis Life Cycle

Business Analysis Life Cycle

A business analyst acts as a liaison between the client and the technical team. The client and the technical team have different focus areas and hence might have conflicts which interacting directly to each other. To minimize the occurrence of such cases, a business analyst comes into picture. He fills the gap between the client and the technical team.
The business Analysis Life Cycle includes comprises of the following processes :-

1. Understnding the business
The business analyst is not just responsible for gathering the requirements but also understanding them only then he can provide an appropriate solution. In order to undertand the requirements, the BA has to first understand the underlying business and the existing processes of the client. A BA has to analyze the market very accurately for that business which means proper identification of the customers for those products or services.

2. Identify the business needs
Also known as the business case, this process mainly focuses on penning down the goals and objectives of the projects. This information can be gathered by interacting with the customers and end users who have been previously associated with this business. Their needs and requirements are clearly understood which helps in focussing on the goals and objectives of the projects.

3. Define the project scope
Before moving on, the BA is responsible for defining the scope of the project. This involves determation of the goals of the project, what all features are to be delivered, the deliverables, what all tasks and people needed, the deadlines for each of the tasks, and finally the cost estimation has to be done. All these scenarios have to be analyzed as part of defining the project.

4. Elicit the requirements
This maybe termed as the major role of a BA. A BA is needed to elicit the requirements accurately in order to provide an optimum feasible solution. There are various elicitation techniques which are used to obtain the 3C advantage. 3C stands for correct, complete and consistent gathering of requirements. The various elicitation techniques are as follows :-
-Focus groups
-Document Analysis
-Reverse Engineering
-JAD(Joint Application Development)

5. Analyze the requirements
Once these requirements have been clearly gathered from the clients, they are further organized and verified. During this research, many more facts come upfront. Once all the internal facts, whether relevant or irrelevant related to a particular requirement come into light, we move on in observing the remaining requirements. This process of digging up each and every requirement in depth is known as analyzing the requirements.

6. Document and present requirements
BA’s job doesn’t end with just gathering and analyzing the requirements. Once that part is over, next comes documenting these requirements and getting them approved. After carefully analyzing each and every requirements, BA documents these requirements using various standards such as, CMMi, IEEE or templates provided by the orgranization. Once the documents are ready, they are sent to the senior BAs or the SMEs for verification. After proper screening of these documents, the leads approve these documents.

7. Communication of the requirements
Once the requirements have been understood, analyzed, documented and been approved, they have to be communicated to the clients for the final verification. The client has to understand and give his approval that the requirements gathered are correctly understood and documented. Once this is done, only the the BA can move ahead with the further processes.
In order to communicate with the stakeholders different approaches are used such as :
-Communication Plan
-Communication Model
-Effective communication
-Efficient communication
-Communication Method
-Communication types

8. Process Modeling
Just documentation is not sufficient for the technical team to be clear on every requirement. So the BA has the communicate these requirements to the Project Manager by modelling these requirements. The BA can either create few UML (Unified Modelling Language) Diagrams, create few prototypes or come up with a number of wireframes depicting each of these requirements. It is very easy for the technical lads to see these models and can get a good knowledge of the requirements along with the proposed solution.

9. Verification of the solutions meeting the requirements
Once the models have been communicated to the technical team, they continue with their various phases of designing, developing and testing. The BA, during these phases, doesn’t sit idle. In fact, he contributes in each of these phases as well. For example, he verifies that all the requirements have been considered during the design phase. During the development phase, if any change requests come up, the BA has to handle those and communicate it to the technical team after proper analysis. During the testing phase, the BA has to go for a complete testing of the application and once when he is sure that the application meets all the requirements, he facilitates the User Acceptance Testing(UAT) for the client.

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